Glorious Journey strikes Criterion gold

Glorious Journey went one better than two years ago when winning the Close Brothers Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.

While trainer Charlie Appleby was at the Curragh overseeing the Irish Derby win of Hurricane Lane, the handler was also on the mark closer to home in the Group Three.

James Doyle gets a particularly good tune out of the six-year-old, who held off Motakhayyel by a length to win at 9-2.

“I love him to bits. He is a dude and he just turns up. I was a little bit concerned with the going being pretty quick, but he is moving better than ever and he floated going down to the start,” said Doyle.

“We’ve tried Group Ones before, but we are pretty realistic with him and he punches away solidly at Group Three level and he can produce a proper Group Two performance when it all goes well.”

Appleby and Doyle doubled up with Sayyida (6-5 favourite) in the Close Brothers Fillies’ Handicap.

Classic winner Logician was sent off the 5-6 favourite for the Close Brothers Fred Archer Stakes but could finish only second to Outbox.

Hollie Doyle was able to take up the running on Archie Watson’s Outbox some way from home but Rab Havlin appeared to have the move covered on Logician.

However, he could not get by the 6-1 winner and while he closed to within a length again at the line, Logician never looked like going by.

Outbox and Hollie Doyle had too much for Logician
Outbox and Hollie Doyle had too much for Logician (Mike Egerton/PA)

Charlie Turner, spokesman for the owners Hambleton Racing, said: “He has been solid all year and run some solid races and he deserved this Listed race today.

“After running him on soft ground at Ascot and Newbury, Hollie said he needed it a bit quicker. We were confident today even though we were up against Logician.

“He is a tough horse. I’m not sure where we are going to go from here. I was hoping we might look at the Ebor or something like that, but Archie will make that decision where he will go.”

For 2019 St Leger hero Logician, the future is less certain.

John Gosden, who trains the horse with son Thady, said: “He was desperately ill. His life was saved by the Newmarket Equine Hospital as he nearly died of peritonitis so it is probably slightly a miracle he has come back to racing. He won his comeback race last year then he lost his action at York in very heavy ground.

“We will consider what we want to do. That (retirement) is obviously a possibility. He has done nothing wrong here, but the old Logician would have won this for fun.

“He has come back and tried hard and I like the way he was closing at the end and I’ve no doubt (with) a little bit further he might have got there, but that is not the point. We will re-group on him.”

Doyle doubled up on Mark Johnston’s Mr Excellency (4-1) in the Close Brothers Handicap.

Richard Hannon’s maiden System caused a 22-1 upset in the Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies’ Stakes.

Second on her debut to a promising type in Alflaila, she took a huge leap forward to win the Listed contest, which featured several fillies who had run at Royal Ascot.

Two of those, Desert Dreamer and Cachet, were in the firing line deep inside the final furlong but System and Pat Dobbs flew home to win by a neck and three-quarters of a length.

Martin Hughes, joint-owner, said: “That was a pleasant surprise. She ran well at Salisbury behind what they think is a good one there. We thought we had a chance and the yard didn’t ignore it but the market did. I’m quite pleased with that outcome.

“She looks like she will get further as she finished well and was staying well. She is a lock away for three.”

Maureen Brittain’s husband, Clive, a former stalwart of Newmarket, was a rare visitor to present the trophies.

Hannon had already made it on to the scoreboard as Anghaam (5-2), a daughter of Guineas winners in Frankel and Natagora, showed a pleasing attitude in winning the Close Brothers Asset Finance Fillies’ Handicap.

Richard Hills, assistant racing manager to winning owner Shadwell Estate Company, said: “She is a beautifully-bred filly.

“She is not short of speed as both her mother and father won a Guineas. She had a bit in hand there and there is more to come. ”

The Gosdens’ Inspiral was sent off 2-1 joint-favourite for the Close Brothers Maiden Fillies’ Stakes and showed a very smart turn of foot to win by a length and a half.

“She is a Frankel out of a filly that was second in a 1000 Guineas (Starscope) so she should stay a mile. I think for experience we will probably take another small step before going up in grade,” said Thady Gosden.

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